UPDATE: Severe thunderstorm warnings end in Okanagan, Similkameen | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna News

UPDATE: Severe thunderstorm warnings end in Okanagan, Similkameen

Original Publication Date May 16, 2023 - 2:25 PM

Meteorologists are tracking a line of dangerous severe thunderstorms in Central Okanagan, Boundary and Similkameen regions capable of producing up to golf ball size hail and heavy rain.

Environment Canada has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the Central Okanagan and Boundary regions earlier this afternoon, May 16, and expanded it to include the Boundary and Similkameen region. The warning in Kelowna has since been lifted.

Storm spotters reported golf ball sized hail near Big White Ski Resort earlier this afternoon, according to the weather office. 

"The line of slow moving severe thunderstorms stretched from Christian Valley to Mount Baldy and at one point crossed Highway 33 near Beaverdell, moving slowly south," the warning reads. "This line of thunderstorms has a history of producing golf ball sized hail."

The storm is currently over Manning Park and Highway 3, and is slowly travelling southwards.

The weather office issued a severe thunderstorm watch at around 1:30 p.m. for the Central and Sound Okanagan, Similkameen and Boundary regions. Thunderstorms are capable for producing large hail and heavy rain.

“The thunderstorms are likely to develop over the ridge tops and may move across highways and recreational areas east of the Okanagan Valley through the Monashee Mountains including Highway 33 from Kelowna to Rock Creek, Highway 97, and Highway 3 from Keremeos to Manning Park,” the watch reads.

Thunderstorms can produce heavy downpours which can cause flash floods and water pooling on roads. They can also produce large, damaging hail.

“Severe thunderstorm watches are issued when atmospheric conditions are favourable for the development of thunderstorms that could produce one or more of the following: large hail, damaging winds, torrential rainfall,” Environment Canada says.

For the latest of the severe thunderstorm watch and other weather warnings, check out Environment Canada’s public alert page here.

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